Class of Runners Puts Lions in Distinguished Company
LMU Cross Country and Track 2009 incoming class competes with the nation's best.
July 29, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For high school basketball players, to be a McDonald's All-American and to be invited to the McDonald's All-American All-Star game means you are destined to be in the spot light at the next level. For football, it is becoming a Parade All-American. For long distance runners, being invited to the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is the ultimate honor. The LMU Cross Country and Track program had never signed a FLCC runner, until now. And it has the Lions in rare company.
The Lions' 2009 incoming class not only includes one, but two runners who participated in the 2008 FLCC. Sheree Shea of University City High School in San Diego, Calif., and Tyre Johnson of Palma High School in Gonzales, Calif., both ran in this past November's FLCC and have signed National Letters of Intent to join the LMU program this fall. In addition, the Lions have two more FLCC runners who have transferred to the program - Brooke Lademan and Daniel LaCava - giving the Lions four runners from the FLCC.
"We are very, very excited about this entire group of student-athletes coming to LMU," said Head Coach Scott Guerrero. "And to have two runners who were part of the Foot Locker Championships, is a huge achievement for our program. Each year 40 males and 40 females who finish in the top-10 of their regional championship qualify for the Foot Locker finals. Being a finalist is a big, big deal. We have never signed a finalist out of high school before, so this really puts us in good company."
Shea qualified for the Foot Locker Championship by placing eighth in the Foot Locker West Regional. She went on to place 34th in the FLCC after placing fourth in the California Division III State Championship, second in the CIF Division III Sectional and second in the City Conference Western League Championship. Shea's personal record in the 1600-meter is 5:06 and the 3200-meter is 10:46, which she set at the California State Championships this spring. Also last spring, she ran a 17:37 for the 5000-meter on the track.
As for Johnson, he also placed eighth in the FL West Regional and then placed 38th at the FLCC. He won the California Division IV State Championship, the Central Coast Sectional and the TCAL League Championship. For the league crown, he won by 1:02. His personal bests are 4:23 in the 1600-meter and 9:17 in the 3200-meter. He also holds the school record for every cross country course the team has run on.
Lademan transferred to LMU from the University of Washington in 2007 and served a redshirt in 2007-08. She ran for UW's top-seven in cross country as a freshman and a sophomore, earning first-team All-West Region honors in her first year. She graduated from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in 2005 where she placed fourth in the Division I California State Cross Country Championship. At the FLCC, she placed fourth in the 2004 Regionals and then 31st in the Championships in San Diego.
LaCava becomes the first graduate student to run for Guerrero as he joins the program this fall after graduating from the University of Arkansas. He served a redshirt season as a freshman in 2005 and was a member of the varsity squad for three seasons, 2006-08. He ran a personal best of 30:10.03 in the 10,000-meter at the Chile Pepper Festival, good for second on the team and 17th overall. In track, LaCava posted personal bests of 8:05 (3,000m) and 3:45 (1,500m) in the spring of 2008. Those track marks are well ahead of the current LMU records, set by Trevor Wiseman, of 8:27 and 3:52 for those distances. LaCava graduated from Grace Prep Academy in 2005 where he finished 35th at the 2004 Foot Locker National Championships.
The accomplishments the 2009 incoming class brings to the Lions' program makes it one of the best classes in program history. Combined with the youth of the existing runners and the fact both the men and women's team finished second this past fall in the West Coast Conference Championships, the Lions will have their sights on a title in the years to come.
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